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  2. 2. Indian Culture and History Unit My Indian Cultural History Unit is a dynamic six week program that will beexperienced through an elective course dealing with world geography and cultures in thesocial studies department. This course would be set for 11th to 12th graders; however, Iwould not hesitate to let any student who was interested in the topic into the class. As ateacher I feel the need to explain the outline of this unit, because it is very different fromthe typical classroom. I consider my lessons for this course to be on a swingingcurriculum, because they cover a range of specific topics through a variety of media andlearning techniques. This is my first semester in the MAT program and this is the first lesson plan thatI have created. I attempted to take everything that I have learned in my education coursesthis semester and incorporate my new knowledge into a comprehensive lesson. The lasttwo weeks of the unit were incorporated into my final project of the course Teaching ofSocial Studies in Secondary Schools. The unit expanded to six weeks, because I wantedto adapt a variety of teaching strategies into one topic so that I could reach a variety oflearners. The Unit is structured so the topic is dispersed to the students with the hope toengage the class and pique the interest of the student. The goal of the Unit is to help give students an idea about life outside America.The focus of the topic is India, but there is a larger concept that I hope my students maybegin to grasp. There is a whole world of cultures and if my students gain interest aboutthem, then cultural acceptance may emerge. The students may find new interests inwanting to learn and read more about India or life outside America. My class maybecome more accepting of foreign films and even enjoy watching a movie that is not a
  3. 3. part of popular American culture. People can learn a lot about the world through foreignfilms and it creates a powerful visual and audio connection to other cultures. The first two week portion of the unit deals with helping to create backgroundknowledge about the history, people, and religion of India. In order to stimulate higherlevel thinking about current issues in India, it is important to create a knowledge baseabout the country. The unit will begin with five days of lecture on the history and peopleof India. I will include the history of the Hindu and Muslim conflict, while discussingPakistan. I believe in lecture and teacher led discussion; regardless of the class I teach,lecture will be integral to my teaching style. While students are entering the class andbeginning their bell-work I will play Indian music. I am fond of world music and willbring different music from around the world when it is applicable to the topic I amteaching. The need to help promote a worldly outlook on life should be an integral partof social studies; it is important for students to hear the sounds of other cultures andwords of other languages. I feel there is a lack of need to explain myself in the importance of lecture withinthe classroom. However, as a social studies teacher there is a definite need to explain myreasons for using film as a comprehensive part of my teaching. The following 6 days ofthe two week lesson is an intensive study of two foreign films. This is an engaged filmlesson where students will critically examine what is seen in the classroom. Manyteachers show films to actively waste time; this will not be the situation in my classroom.I have studied foreign films for the last five years and am extremely passionate aboutwhat can be learned though the cultural interpretation of film. I feel there is a lack ofappreciation in America for foreign films. I also feel there was a gap in my high school
  4. 4. education because I never saw a full length foreign film throughout my public education.I took many social studies electives including two anthropology courses and never sawone foreign film. Teachers continue to show brainless popular culture flicks, with noeducational purpose whatsoever. I even took a Spanish course in high school and neverwatched a Spanish film. These are a few of the reasons that I will not teach a course on acountry without introducing at least one foreign film that my class may find interesting. The two foreign films that will be viewed in the lesson are “Gandhi” and“Lagaan”. Gandhi is a British film that won nine academy awards and is extremelybeneficial to the Unit. Although no Indian film has ever won an academy award, it’squite ironic that a British film about the exploitation of India and Gandhi’s resistancewon nine. I will also include actual footage of Gandhi in addition to the British filmabout his life. The second film, “Lagaan” is the second Indian film to ever get nominatedfor an academy award. The film is typical of a classic Bollywood movie which takesplace in 1893 and will give students a picture of Indian culture. Normally I would notshow two full length movies if I were to teach about another country. However, Gandhiis one of my favorite movies, one that I feel has impacted my life in a positive manner. Itis worth classroom time in the Unit to show this movie. It would be a tragedy to showonly a British film while teaching a lesson on India, the country that has the secondbiggest film industry next to Hollywood. The following two week lesson is the reading portion of the Unit. Whilesubstituting this semester I realized how poor the reading comprehension was of highschool students. The average student had trouble comprehending a ninth grade text.After my experiences with my own learning disability and the lack of comprehension and
  5. 5. interest of reading materials in the classroom, I have decided to incorporate reading in mylesson plans. I don’t believe that high school literature does justice to the variety ofbooks in the world. Whenever possible teachers in the social studies discipline need toincorporate trade books and other reading material into their curriculum. One of thebiggest challenges of the high school teacher is getting the students to read. I stronglybelieve that if teachers assigned interesting novels and fiction books about the contentarea then we may be able to get our students to read. It takes a lot of research to findbooks that will be interesting to the students. In fact the hardest part of this whole lessonwas finding an interesting book that would be at an appropriate readability level for thestudents. It’s hard to find reading material that will interest both the upper and lowerreading levels of the course. There are two tests that I have developed to find the perfectbook; what I call the functional test and interest test. The functional test is as follows;find a book on the topic, calculate the readability of the text and skim the book to makesure it is the appropriate reading level. The interest test works like this; if you can’t readthe book in one sitting then get rid of it; if the book doesn’t interest the social studiesteacher than it surely won’t interest the student. Many teachers may still be skeptical of fiction and novels, but let me explain whyhigh school needs to start with these. Fiction and novels are the easiest material tocomprehend and pique interest in a variety of ways. There are plenty of educationalfiction books that can help students get engaged in a topic. Far too many students haveno interest in reading and I propose the best way to capture their interest is throughfiction. Students have never been taught to enjoy reading, because everything they readis dry and factual. Fiction can paint a picture of life that can’t be explained in any other
  6. 6. way. To get students actively involved with theoretical and historical text they must firstdevelop the basic enjoyment of reading. Just like you can’t teach a baby to run beforethey learn to crawl; educators need to captivate their students to read. Students drownwhen they get to college and realize that they can’t pass their courses without readingcomprehension. So not only am I going to introduce the book Nectar in a Sieve and an intriguingarticle on Kashmir, my lesson plans surround the reading to extremely improve readingcomprehension. The lesson includes reading activities to promote reading comprehensionand therefore also reading enjoyment. The reading comprehension lessons will beintroduced with a variety of leaning settings including individual and group work. Ideveloped a variety of before, during, and after reading activities to help supportcomprehension with the reading material that will be read in the Unit. The KWL strategy will help to activate the student’s prior knowledge whileprompting students to ask questions about the text. This strategy can encourage thestudents to become engaged while reading. The anticipation guide will help studentswith background knowledge while giving them a chance at extra credit and boost readingcomprehension. The discussion worksheets will help students with content by presentingand talking with peers about the reading. It also gives students who may be shy or havelimited writing ability to shine with depicting the story through art. The comprehensionguide and questions are there to test students at a variety of comprehension levels. Thecomprehension guides begin with basic literal comprehension and advances to moreabstract thinking about the text.
  7. 7. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya tells a story of the arrival of a tanneryin a traditional village. It shows how fragile a traditional agrarian society can be, andhow little it takes to turn a prosperous farmer into a beggar. The book covers issues ofclass and caste, of the woman’s role in traditional society, the exploitation of peasants byfactories and land tenants, as well as family organization. This book vividly paints apicture of Indian culture and the struggle of their people. It will be useful in my Unitbecause it brings life to the people of India. Kashmir Trapped in Conflict by LewisSimons is an article from National Geographic. This article explains the Indian andPakistan conflict and their battle over Kashmir. I will tie these articles into the larger uniton Indian Culture and History. The last two days of the lesson plan are to bring India into my classroom. Notliterally, but through a guest speaker. I know a few people who have spent the majorityof their lives in India and I would invite them into my class to talk about their country.The last day would of course incorporate learning with food. The last day will include anintroduction to the tastes of India. I would bring in Indian cuisine so that my class wouldhave the opportunity to taste and smell Indian culture. The last two weeks of the lesson plan which was turned in as my final project inthe Social Studies Methods class includes group activities, technology, and higher levelthinking, Current events and a final exam. In conclusion, the lesson is dynamic because it includes a variety of learning toolsthat can promote learning with a variety of students. My India unit includes art, reading,writing, foreign films, geography, technology, lecture, music, visual and audio learning,taste, smell and critical thinking skills.
  8. 8. Topic of Lesson: Basic Understanding of Indian Culture and HistoryNumber of Days: FourObjectives of the Lesson:The students will learn about IndiaThe students will gain knowledge on culture and historyThe students will reflect on population density and democracyThe students will gain a basic understanding of India and begin to build knowledge onthe topic.The Content Standards:Strand 1 Historical Perspective Standard 1.1 Time and chronology Standard 1.2 Comprehending the past Standard 1.3 Analyzing and interpreting the past Standard 1.4 Judging decisions from the pastStrand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interactions Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsStrand 5 Inquiry Standard 5.1 Information processingDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson:The class would begin with journal writing on these four topics, one for each day. 1. What do you know about India? 2. What would you like to learn about India? 3. What do you think are some common stereotypes about India? 4. Do you think you would ever want to travel to India? Explain why you would or wouldn’t want to go to India or your experiences traveling to India, if applicable.I would play Indian Music while the students write in their journals.After journals I would begin my lecture about the history and culture of India. Thelecture is primarily a tool so the students can process information about India and moveon to more specific topics and critical analysis. I created about 60 Power-Point slides toguide me through the lecture. I will encourage students to ask questions so that they will
  9. 9. have an interactive part in the lesson. If time permits I will incorporate the internet intomy lecture so they can see short video clips and current events on India.List of Materials: Computer, Projector, InternetTopic of Lesson: History and Religion in IndiaNumber of Days: 2Objectives of the Lesson:The students will compare and contrast India’s religions.The students will draw a timeline of the History of India.The students will critically think about how culture, philosophy, religion and beliefs aredeeply embedded in Indian life.The students will use visual aids to comprehend India.The students will understand the chronology of India’s history.The Content Standards:Strand 1 Historical Perspective Standard 1.1 Time and chronology Standard 1.2 Comprehending the past Standard 1.3 Analyzing and interpreting the past Standard 1.4 Judging decisions from the pastStrand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interactions Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsStrand 5 Inquiry Standard 5.1 Information processing Standard 5.2 Conducting InvestigationsDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson:The class will begin with journal writing. 1. How does learning about India help in the understanding about America? 2. When studying India do you see patterns of history repeating itself?I will play Indian Music while the students write in their journals.Day One will consist of making a history timeline by using the Historical Overviewworksheet. I will allow students to get in groups of three people and let them readtogether and create an artistic outline. The outline will help students visualize thechronology of India’s history. I have a lot of writing in my class and want to givestudents the opportunity to express themselves visually. This gives students with an
  10. 10. artistic talent the chance to shine in class. At the end of the hour I will have studentscome in front of class and share their timelines.Day Two- The students will read through the articles on Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhismand create a web of how the religions are similar and different. They will be able toexpress the web through writing or pictographically. This will be an optional groupactivity with up to three students in a group. If time permits the students will be giventime at the end of the hour to share religious webs.I will also display the two best timelines and webs in the classroom while awarding thewinners with extra credit.Materials: Large 11x14 Paper, Pencils, Colored Pencils, Crayons, MarkersTopic of Lesson: Lagaan: An Introduction to Indian FilmNumber of Days: ThreeObjectives of the Lesson:The students will learn about the Indian film industry.The students will hear Indian language and music.The students will see India through film.The students will be introduced to a foreign subtitled film.The students will learn about British colonization and control.The students will learn how to critically evaluate and think about film.The students will learn about popular Indian culture.The Content Standards:Strand 1 Historical Perspective Standard 1.1 Time and chronology Standard 1.2 Comprehending the past Standard 1.3 Analyzing and interpreting the past Standard 1.4 Judging decisions from the pastStrand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interaction Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson:Class will begin with a brief lecture on the importance of film in India today. I will alsotalk about the value of learning through foreign films. There will be no journal during
  11. 11. the three days of the lesson. I will explain to the class about the questions and criticalanalysis that will have to be completed after viewing the film. If it is possible I will use aprojector when I show any video in class.I will show the film the next few days and give my students their work sheets at the end.List of Materials: Projector and DVD PlayerLagaan: 120ptsAnswer in a paragraph:15pts 1. “The British hunt for sport, while the Indian farmer protects the wildlife.” How does this scene represent British feelings about colonization? 2. Why would Capitan Russell want to see Prince Rajaji eat meat, even though he is well aware it is against his religion? 3. In what ways does the British Army display their power over the land? 4. What did you learn about Indian life, culture, &/or caste?In one page write on one of the following two questions:25pts 1. How did the Indian village come together to resist colonial rule? 2. How was the game cricket turned into war? What did the battle remind you of? Was the circle reminiscent of any other battle scenes from popular American films?In two pages:80ptsRate this film on a four star scale and indicate why you think this. Critique the film andtalk about how it made you feel, the cinematography, your likes or dislikes.Did you learn anything about foreign films or India and would you like to see anotherfilm in subtitles? Could you feel the expressive power of listening to a language eventhough the words were unknown to you?Anticipation Guide-Kashmir Trapped in Conflict5pts extra credit if 9/13 questions are correct.
  12. 12. Before reading the article on Kashmir, indicate whether you think the statements are True(T) or False (F).1.___ The borders of Kashmir were drawn up by the United Nations in 1949.2.___ Kashmir is a peaceful place where paradise reigns.3.___ Pakistan and India uphold the cease-fire agreement that was established by theUnited Nations in Kashmir.4.___Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India constantly wage war on each other in Kashmir.5.___Kashmir was supposed to demonstrate that an Islamic population could coexist witha Hindu majority.6.___Nuclear war has begun between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.7.___It is believed that between 40,000 and 80,000 civilians and soldiers have died in theconflict over Kashmir.9.___At one time many tourists were attracted to Kashmir for the beautiful mountainsand scenic towns.10.__Journalists are the only foreigners who travel to Kashmir and even for them it isrisky business.11.__Ethnic cleansing does not exist in Kashmir.12.__Some Muslim militants believe Indian families are too dirty to have as neighbors,but Indian women are not too dirty to rape.13.__Indian and Pakistani leaders will not discuss the conflict over Kashmir.Levels of Comprehension Guide: “Kashmir”50pts Literal: Place a check mark next to a statement if you think it says the same thing that the author says. You should be able to show where you found this in article. ____1. More than half a million tourists visited Kashmir annually during the 1990’s. ____2. Political meetings with leaders of India and Pakistan are not improving the situation in Kashmir. ____3. Guerrillas infiltrating from Pakistan became a target of Indian air strikes.
  13. 13. Interpretive: Place a check mark next to ideas you think the author implies and support your decisions in a few sentences. ____1. The United Nation cease-fire agreement sparked the war over Kashmir. ____2. Until Muslim and Hindus become more accepting of each other the battle will rage on until one of the religions in wiped out in the area. ____3. India has dominated the war in Kashmir. Applied: Place a check mark by the ideas you would agree with based on both the reading and your own experiences. On the back of this worksheet explain in a paragraph why you agree or disagree with each statement. ____1. Muslim militants believe they are in a religious war and will not stop murdering innocent people until Islam rules. ____2. America should intervene with the conflict in Kashmir. ____3. Religious tolerance has never been a part of Hinduism and Islam, so why should they take place today?Topic of Lesson: Nectar in a SieveNumber of Days: fiveObjectives of the Lesson:The students will learn and experience Indian through fiction.The students will gain an interest for reading and understand its usefulness.The lesson will use reading comprehension guides to help students with text.The students will learn about the struggles of Indian people.The students will gain an understanding of village, rural, and city life in India.The students will gain an understanding about the exploitation of labor in India.The students will learn Indian vocabulary words as well as Indian culture and history.
  14. 14. The Content Standards:Strand 1 Historical Perspective Standard 1.1 Time and chronology Standard 1.2 Comprehending the past Standard 1.3 Analyzing and interpreting the past Standard 1.4 Judging decisions from the pastStrand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interaction Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsStrand 5 Inquiry Standard 5.1 Information processingStrand 6 Public Discourse and Decision Making Standard 6.1 Identifying and analyzing issues Standard 6.2 Group discussionStandard 7.1 Responsible personal conductThe English standards that are met by the unit Standard 5 Literature Standard 6 Voice Standard 9 Depth of understandingDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson: The lesson will begin with the KWLstrategy to get students actively involved with thinking and verbalizing questions on thebook. I will hand out the story impression guide and have students get in groups of threepeople. The students will follow the guide and write a story using the words that havecome from the book. Then I will have someone from each group read the stories outloud. I will hand out the books and discussion guides to the students. I will give thestudents a few days of class time to read the book. When the students are about half waycompleted with the reading I will split them into groups and let the class discuss thereading. The students will use their discussion sheets and talk with their peers about thereading. At the end of the book I will assign comprehension questions to the class so thatthey can critically reflect on the reading. Story Impressions 50pts
  15. 15. Story Chain Story PredictionBullock-CartVillageSariRiceFieldDhalDhotiOllockZemindarKum-kumBierFuneralDrums Comprehension Questions: Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya Short Answer 20pts
  16. 16. 1. Why did the village view Ira’s child differently? 2. Why did Arjun and Thambi leave the village and where did they go? 3. Why was the animal dung such a precious commodity? Pulling Concepts Together 60pts Answer each question in a thorough paragraph without exceeding one page. 1. How did the tannery affect the village and in what ways did it directly affect Nathan’s family? 2. Write about the transition from village to town and the ongoing struggle of the villagers to keep up with inflation. 3. Explain tenant farming in India and why a tenant farmer could never earn enough money to buy his own land. Compare and Contrast 150ptsBased on reading and your own experience answer two of the questions in 1½ to 3 pages. 1. Compare and contrast the connection of the starving peasant farmer to the indulgent American. How is the appetite of America connected to starving India? 2. How does industrialization affect family ties and the mobility of the nuclear family in India and America? 3. Nathan’s sons were unhappy with the exploitation of their father’s labor. Explain how industrialization impacts the exploitation of the laboring class in India and America.Fiction Discussion Sheet: Nectar in a Sieve50ptsNameWhile you are reading or after you have finished reading, please prepare for the groupmeeting by doing the following:Connections: What personal connections did you make with the text? Did it remind youof past experiences, people, or events in your life? Did it make you think of anythinghappening in the news, around school, or in other material you have read?
  17. 17. Discussion question: Write down a few questions you would like to discuss with yourgroup. They could be questions that came to mind while reading, questions you wouldlike to ask the author, questions you would like to investigate, or any other questions youthink the group should discuss regarding the reading.Passage: Mark several lines, or a section, that caught your attention as you read. Thesemight be passages that seem especially important, puzzling, beautiful, strange, well-written, controversial, or striking in some other way. Be ready to read aloud to the groupor ask someone else to read them.Illustration: On the front or back of this sheet sketch a picture related to your reading.This can be a drawing, cartoon, diagram, or a flowchart. You can draw a picture that wasspecifically talked about in the text or something from your own life. Be ready to showthe picture and talk about it with your group.Topic of Lesson: Guest Speaker from IndiaNumber of Days: OneObjectives of the Lesson:The students will learn an insider’s perspective of India.The students will learn about India interactively.
  18. 18. The students will be encouraged to ask questions about India.The Content Standards:Strand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interaction Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson:The students will develop questions for the guest speaker and will learn about Indiathrough a native’s perspective. Guest speakers always add a nice dimension to socialstudies classes. Students love interacting with a person when they are directly involvedwith the subject being taught in class.List of Materials: “A Guest Speaker”Topic of Lesson: A Taste of IndiaNumber of Days: OneObjectives of the Lesson:The students will learn about Indian culture through ethnic food.The students will smell the spices of India.The students will make connections to diverse places and culture.The Content Standards:Strand 2 Geographic Perspective Standard 2.1 Diversity of people, places, and culture Standard 2.2 Human/environment interaction Standard 2.3 Location, movement, and connections Standard 2.4 Regions, patterns, and processes Standard 2.5 Global issues and eventsDetailed Description and Procedure of Lesson:
  19. 19. I would bring in Indian food for the students to taste and smell. I would let the studentstalk about what they have learned in the lesson. I would play Indian music while thestudents were given the chance to express themselves about the Unit. List of Materials: Music, Indian FoodLesson One: Gandhi and the Power of ClothingContent Standards:Content Standard 2 Historical Perspective: 2) Identify and explain how individuals inhistory demonstrated good character and personal virtue. 3) Select events and individualsfrom the past that have had a global impact on the modern world and describe their past.Content Standard 1 Geographic Perspective: 1) Describe how major world issues andevents affect various people, societies, places, and cultures in different ways. 2) Explainhow culture might affect women’s and men’s perceptions.Objectives: 1. Students will gain an understanding of the power in nonverbal communication. 2. Students will identify some of the many layers of meaning clothing can express. 3. Students will compare the meaning of Gandhi’s clothing to clothing today. 4. Understand why Mahatma Gandhi was such an effective leader of the Indian struggle for independence from British colonial rule.Materials: Overhead projector, paper and pencils.Detailed Description of Lesson:Bell Work: Overhead on Gandhi’s Life. I will talk about the time line and begin with thelesson. This is a follow up lesson from the film Gandhi which my students watched theprevious week. However, the film is not necessary to complete the assignment.Young people today know the power of how one dresses and looks to convey meaning.Wearing hats, piercing, dying hair, labels, and styles all convey meaning. Take your lifeexperiences with clothing and compare them to Gandhi’s manipulation of clothing. Viewthe pictures and activate prior knowledge about Gandhi through what we have learnedand take the meaning from the pictures. After studying the photographs and what Gandhiis trying to convey, you might ask: Is his later clothing more complex or simpler than hisearlier clothing?Procedure:
  20. 20. Students will write a comparison essay on the meaning of Gandhi’s clothing to themeaning of students clothing today. The essay should be 2-3 pages typed and studentswill only have one class period to work on this project. Student Directions Gandhi and Clothing 1. Students should review the timeline of Gandhi’s life 2. Students should analyze the transformation of Gandhi’s clothing 3. Students should think about the meaning of Gandhi’s clothing. 4. Students should think about how Gandhi rejects the Western World through clothing. 5. Students should analyze the meaning of youths clothing. 6. Students should compare and contrast the meaning of clothing. 7. Students may work in groups of 2-3 people during the class period. 8. Every student has to write their own essay. 9. Type a 2-3 page essay comparing the meaning of Gandhi’s Clothing to the meaning of students clothing today. Students have only one class period to work on the project in school. The project is due on Friday.
  21. 21. Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat, in Western India, in 1869 of middle-class parents. He studied law in England and then worked as a lawyer in South Africafor twenty years trying to improve the lives of Indians living there. In 1914 hereturned to India and several years later he began to work for Indian independence.Gandhi realized that many upper class, Western-educated Indians were committed toworking for independence, but that one of the greatest challenges was to bring therest of the country into the struggle. Many were very poor, illiterate, and divided byregional, linguistic and religious differences. Gandhi used the way he dressed tocommunicate his message in a way that the average Indian could understand. As the years passed Gandhi became increasing aware of the power of clothingto express ideas. The photographs in this lesson show various clothes he wore. Inthe 1886 photograph he and his brother are dressed in typical Gujarat clothing. The1890 photograph was taken while he is a law student in London. Both the 1900 andthe 1906 photographs show him as a lawyer in South Africa. In the 1913 photographhe is dressed for a protest in South Africa. The 1915 photograph was taken as hefirst arrived in India from South Africa, dressed like an Indian peasant. In September1921 he decided to wear the Indian loincloth for at least six weeks, and it becamehis standard dress from that time forward. In the 1940 photograph he is shownwearing the loincloth and shawl, and the 1942 photograph he is only wearing hisloincloth. When, as a 19-year-old, Gandhi arrived in London to study law, he wanted todress like an Englishman, believing that English clothes were "more civilized," but hewas embarrassed when he realized he was the only person on the dock wearingwhite flannels as they were "not worn in late September." When he returned to Indiain 1891, he was wearing European clothes and an Indian turban. He arrived in SouthAfrica dressed like a British barrister except for his turban. Very soon a magistrate inthe Durbam court asked him to remove the turban, an act he found mosthumiliating. Although he stopped wearing a turban, he registered his protest with thepress, and he began to experiment consciously with the symbolic power of hisclothing. For example, his 1913 clothing was a "sign of mourning," a symbolic way toidentify with the suffering of the Indians who had been shot in South Africa. By the time he returned to India in 1915, Gandhi knew that clothing couldconvey important messages, and he consciously chose to dress like an Indianpeasant. The strong reactions his clothing elicited from the Indians who met himfurther convinced him of the symbolic importance of clothing. Gandhi debated for a long time whether he should wear a loincloth. He knewit could be taken as a sign of primitiveness or even indecency. On the other hand, itwas a way of identifying with the poorest Indians. He insisted he was not trying toexpress "saintliness" even though many people identified it with the way Hinduascetics dressed.
  22. 22. "In Gandhis own perception, the loincloth was a sign of Indias dire povertyand of the need to improve its wealth through swadeshi [things produced at home]and through a wholesale rejection of European civilization. It was a rejection not onlyof the material products of Europe, but also of the European value system with itscriteria of decency. It was better for the poor to wear scanty loincloths than to clothethemselves in garments from abroad. But while the loincloth was indeed a full-scalepromotion of Indianness, it was not a glorification of poverty. Rather through hisnakedness, Gandhi hoped visually to expose Indian poverty while simultaneouslysuggesting its resolution through hand spinning, weaving and freedom from Britishrule." (1996, page 75) The importance of how he dressed was very closely related toGandhis vision not only of the means Indians should use to achieve independencebut also of the type of nation India should become. Central to that vision was home-spun cloth known as khadi. Khadi would make Indians self-sufficient and wouldeventually result in swaraj or self-rule. Gandhi worked very hard to get every Indian to spin his or her own cottonthread and to weave khadi. Gandhi believed that making khadi would provideemployment for many Indians and contribute to the countrys self-sufficiency. SusanBean, an eminent American anthropologist, in an article entitled "Gandhi and Khadi,the Fabric of Indian Independence," wrote: "Like most leaders of the nationalist movement, Gandhi thought the re-industrialization of India to be of paramount importance, but unlike most of them hewas opposed to mechanized industry, which he viewed as a sin perpetrated on theworld by the West. He wanted to revive artistry. ....machines were labor-savingdevices that put thousands of laborers out of work, unthinkable in India where themasses were underemployed. Factory production facilitated the concentration ofwealth in the hands of a few capitalists, and transformed workers into utter slaves." Gandhi often stated that wearing khadi was a moral duty, a sign that a personhad transformed his or her life and was now devoted to "self-sacrifice," "purity," and"fellow feeling with every human being on earth." (Tarlo 89) To Gandhi, a change ofclothes was like a change of religion; "it was a question of morality and belief."(Ibid.) But Gandhi went even further. He suggested that kadhi had a "transformativepower" and that "through wearing it people could actually become more worthy."Lesson 3: Indian Current EventsThursdayContent Standards:Content Standard 1: Geographic Perspective: All students will describe, compare, andexplain the location and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements. (People,Places and Cultures) 1) Describe how major world issues and events affect variouspeople, societies, places, and cultures in different ways. 2) Explain how culture mightaffect women’s and men’s perceptions.Content Standard 4: Geographic Perspective: 1) Explain how major world processesaffect different world regions. 2) Explain how major world regions are changing. 3)
  23. 23. Explain how processes like population growth, economic development, urbanizationresource use, international trade, global communication, and environment impact areaffecting different world regions.Content Standard 5: All students will describe and explain the causes, consequences, andgeographic context of major global issues and events. (Global Issues and Events)Statement of Objectives: 1. Students will learn global and cultural issues that are currently affecting people in India and around the world. 2. Students will practice efficient technology skills to research a current event. 3. Students will learn current events in India.Materials: Computers with an efficient WEB connection for searching current events.Current events can range from politics to entertainment.Bell Work:5 min: What are the current events of India? If you don’t know any current events makea list of India’s current event topics that would interest you.I will pair people off in groups of two (keeping in mind focused students others who needmore help).I will take my class to the computer lab to work on topic.Students should turn in one answer page per group due at the end of the hour.Students can start off at http://in.yahoo.com/ Yahoo India and begin searching currentevent topics. 1. Summarize current event in 1-2 paragraphs. 2. Summarize in 1-2 paragraphs how is this event important to international or domestic affairs? 3. Summarize in 1-2 paragraphs how would this event affect your life if you were living in the region?Power Point LessonCreate 12 slides on Indian TopicResearch a topic of interest in Indian Culture and HistoryUse Graphics, Sound & Pictures to Present Topic to Class.